Bristol is known all across the UK as an incredible hub of art, culture and activism, as well as a home of great British engineering, industry and trade. It’s no wonder, then, that the University of Bristol and University of the West of England have established themselves here, providing excellent higher education to their students in this thriving, multicultural city.
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This unique, vibrant and exciting city is the perfect location for your University experience. Bristol has been the home of great art, science and social progress for years, and it could be your home too! Hurry though – our high-quality student accommodation is never on the market for long. Book now to avoid disappointment!
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In terms of world rankings the University of Bristol is consistently ranked within the top 50. This makes it a beating heartbeat of excellence in a vibrant, green city that places such importance on high standards and quality learning.
It has a rich history, founded in 1876 as University College, Bristol, becoming the University of Bristol in 1909, and was the first higher education institution in England to admit women. The university has also been home to thirteen Nobel Prize winners, highlighting the quality on offer.
With this in mind, students at the University of Bristol have access to nine extensive libraries, each with specialist study areas and specific subject support from staff, as well as access to millions of resources for research and learning in both print and digital forms.
Three study centres have been designed to ensure that both individual and study work can be completed in peace and quiet, and there are 2,300 PCs in the modern IT facilities across campus. It is one of only two universities in the entire country that runs a full NHS practice for students to take advantage of.
The Student’s Union is a great support for all students studying at the university and is home to well over 400 sports clubs and societies covering an absolutely massive array of interests, sports, and hobbies.
Whether you want to immerse yourself in film, take on a new individual sport to get to an elite level, play a team sport for fun, or get into media, you’ll find a society or club to suit you. The SU is a thriving hub of activity at all times, and alongside a café bar that is always busy, you’ll also find a gig venue, a swimming pool, a couple of theatres, and even a dance studio!
One of the largest higher education providers in the South West of England, the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol has built some strong partnerships and collaborations with employers and industry experts locally, nationally, and at an international level.Some of the more specialist facilities that can be found at UWE Bristol include a mock courtroom, a nursing simulation suite, forensic crime scene house, wind tunnel, flight simulator, multimedia broadcast studios, and financial trading rooms. It goes to show the emphasis placed on the standard of research and learning through the university.
Within the Students’ Union Job Shop students have access to part-time jobs, with over 4,000 postings advertised each year. The service is also on hand to offer expert advice on job hunting and guidance on employment rights, tax issues, and national insurance contributions. Around 200 students from the university also undertake internships each year through a programme at UWE Bristol. Bristol is a great city to find part-time work whilst studying but also a thriving and growing economy where students can find access to part-time jobs and a pathway into a career of their choice post university.
At the Students’ Union there is an on-campus cinema and Centre for Performing Arts that is home to a selection of bars, shops and cafes to unwind within day or night.
There are over 180 sports clubs and societies open to students, with plenty of volunteering opportunities and charitable enterprises. The UWE Bristol Students’ Union bar is always a bustling place to catch up with friend after study.
Bristol has always been at the vanguard of the food scene, and outside of London is one of the places in the UK where you could first find a developing food scene that genuinely included cuisine from all around the world. There is such a diverse scene that you can find food to suit your taste whether you are wandering along Bristol Harbourside, in Hotwells, Clifton, or Bedminster, you’ll be happy and there is plenty of student-friendly prices and discounts on offer at various times.
St Nick’s Market at The Exchange in the city centre is a prime example of the wide range of world cuisine that can be found in Bristol, with a street food market open every Tuesday and Friday. You’ll find burgers and hot dogs, Brazilian barbecue, Japanese food, Indian cuisine, and some of the best falafel you’ll eat anywhere at Eat a Pitta. The harbourside market is another popular street food market that is open every Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday, including wood fired pizza, fried chicken, and a great selection of breads and cakes.
Students love a good pizza, and at Bertha’s on Cumberland Road the welcoming bright yellow doors on the new Wapping Warf development bring you inside to a divine smell and some of the finest sourdough pizzas you’ll find anywhere in the country.
On the harbourside you’ll also find some of the best gyros in the country at The Athenian. You can see the theme here, Bristol takes food from all over the globe and delivers it to the highest standards, without it costing the earth and making it a fun, student-friendly option.
If you fancy some desert after a lip smacking tasty treat Swoon on College Green is the best place to go for some gelato. For coffee and cake there is plenty of choice during the day and night, from your chain coffee such as Starbucks and Costa, to many an independent café. Pinkmans on Park Street is a great example of this, a bakery during the daytime (voted in the top 25 in the UK), and a pizza restaurant during the night. It is always packed out, but worth the wait.
Hart’s Bakery at the arches underneath Temple Meads Railway Station is another popular bakery, offering plenty of delicious hot treats right out of the oven, from bread to cakes and pastries. The locally roasted coffee for sale is a popular attraction for students looking for that first morning fix of caffeine before university.
Tasty and cheap student eats in Bristol include Falafel King on Cotham Hill, Tick Tuck on St Stephens St, Pizzarova on Gloucester Road, and Atomic Burger on Gloucester Road. This is just the tip of the iceberg in a city that has a thriving food scene for all tastes and budgets.
As with the food scene, Bristol nightlife is absolutely booming and continues to surpass high expectations every year. There are large nightclubs hosting some of the top DJs in the world, underground gigs, and some amazing live music venues dotted about the city. On top of that you’ll find whatever you want from a night out in Bristol, from the glamorous bars, live comedy nights, karaoke, and a thriving LGBTQ scene in the West End Gay Village and Old Market Quarter Gay Village.
King Street is a great place to start as a newbie student living at our Bristol student accommodation. Its cobbled streets are home to some incredible microbreweries, a jazz pub, and some traditional old ale pubs.
Park Street and The Triangle are both areas with many lively pubs, bars and late-night student club nights from a wide range of choices and music genres, whilst Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road are both areas that are home to the alternative scene in Bristol. Bristol has been awarded Purple Flag status in several of its famous districts.
The Apple is a Bristol student institution selling 8% cider in half pint measures at £1.50 a pop. The bar set on a boat and is one of the best atmospheres you’ll find in the whole city. Just off Gloucester Road you’ll find The Sportsman, a proper pub with big TVs showing all the live sport, plenty of pool tables to compete against your friends and strangers that will soon be friends.
They also offer some great student discounts on food and drink. The Lanes on Nelson Street is unlike any other place you’ll find on a night out. It has a bowling alley, a bar, and a diner open all week, with live gigs, club nights, and karaoke rooms to complete the set of entertainment on offer! You should also check out The Volunteer Tavern, The Cat and Wheel, The Blue Lagoon and The Gallimaufry.
After you’ve been out in the pub though you’ll want to find the right club for your taste, and there’s no need to worry as Bristol has everything you could ask for. Motion on Avon Street is the biggest and longest established club in Bristol and as recently as 2016 was voted 19th best club in the world and 2nd best club in the UK by DJ Mag. It’s got a huge courtyard, a riverside terrace, and four large indoor dance floors.
Lakota off Stokes Croft is the other ‘big’ club in the city, with multi-room dance floors and big nights. The Love Inn is a bar and restaurant in the day and a lively party venue at night, with tickets available on the door and an upbeat groove to dance along to. The Thekla, the O2 Academy, The Louisiana, and The Marble Factory are all interesting venues for live alternative and mainstream music, whilst The Island is a techno haven, and The Black Swan and Blue Mountain home to some epic drum & bass nights.
Through University student membership there is fantastic sports facilities to take advantage of when studying in Bristol. You can take part in individual pursuits with your sights on future Olympic Gold Medals as a track and field athlete, or join a football team with your mates just for a laugh.
There is something for everyone, at various prices ranging from free to a discounted student rate. The Indoor Sports Centre at the University of Bristol includes a state-of-the-art gym, a double-court sports hall, and exercise studios, with a 32-metre swimming pool at the Students’ Union, first class sports pitches, tennis courts and Olympic weight-lifting gym at Coombe Dingle Sports Complex, and Saltford Boathouse on the River Avon.
There are more than 60 sports clubs to join through the Students’ Union. So whether you want to play ultimate Frisbee with your mates, take on skydiving or American football, learn how to cycle to an elite level, or play football or rugby to keep fit in a team environment, there is something for everyone.
If you are good enough you could even represent the University in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) League.
For those aiming at an elite level the Performance Squad helps talented young athletes to meet hard targets without compromising on education. Advice and guidance helps to plan targets and processes, including professional help with physiotherapy needs, nutrition advice, and training equipment.
Bristol is a great city to live in for spectator sports, as it is home to two football league teams in Bristol City and Bristol Rovers, playing at Ashton Gate and the Memorial Ground respectively. City play in the Championship and depending on the visiting team it can be difficult to get tickets to every game, whilst at Rovers you can buy tickets on the day for most matches at the North Bristol ground just off Gloucester Road.
Ashton Gate has recently been redeveloped and is also home to the Bristol Bears, who play in Premiership Rugby, the top tier of professional English Rugby Union. Just up the road is also the historic rugby side of Bath Rugby, and this is accessible via train in just 15-minutes from Temple Meads Railway Station. You can certainly take your pick of top rugby matches when living in Bristol. During the 6 Nations international tournament in the winter you’re just a couple of hours away from London and England matches at Twickenham, or less than an hour from Cardiff and the Principality Stadium and Wales matches.
Bristol is a town that promotes a healthy lifestyle and if you fancy taking on long city walks, countryside hikes, or cycling everywhere it is certainly a city where you can do this in abundance and keep fit and healthy. Just beware of the steep walk from College Green up the hill to Queens Road!
You would expect there to be shopping in all shapes and sizes in a multicultural city such as Bristol, from big street high street brands to quirky and exotic independent boutiques, and you would be spot on.
From your base at our Bristol student accommodation you’ve got everything you could ever want, from a wide range of supermarket brands and independent food stores to do your grocery shop each week, to arts and crafts, plenty of great record stores, and vintage clothing stores. Bristol is the capital of shopping in the South West and even draws crowds of shoppers from over the border in South East Wales.
Clifton Village is a beautiful part of town, with a lovely stroll from Clifton Suspension Bridge through the village a real treat as you wander through the many posh boutiques (this might be a bit steep an area for a student budget but it’s certainly a pretty place to visit).
Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road are both home to a long, long list of independent shops and boutiques, retro and vintage stores with excellent clothing and arts and crafts. The alternative-shopping scene in this area is a real treat for students. The real heartbeat of student shopping in Bristol can be found at Park Street and The Triangle, with some amazing trendy shops and retro clothes to be found along the steepest hill in the world and beyond!
Cabot Circus is home to over 90 big brands and high street stores, as well as wide range of restaurants, cafes, and a cinema. The shopping quarter runs all the way down to the SS Great Britain on the harbour side and you’ll find all the brands you know and love. Just outside of the city is Cribbs Causeway, again with similar big name brands, plus it’s open late, which can be handy from time to time.
The markets and independent shopping is where Bristol really comes alive though. Along the cobbled streets in the city centre is a wide range of traditional independent traders, with the Old Market a fascinating mix of traders and services.
St Nicks Market is similarly a wonderful market experience with some amazing old bookstores, record shops, arts and crafts, and food stalls under one vintage roof. The Christmas Steps Arts Quarter is an incredible experience with a history dating back to the 1600s, whilst Wapping Warf has taken a unique and modern approach with independent businesses trading out of old shipping containers.
The best student shopping opportunities can be found on Cotham Hill, just off Whiteladies Road, with a great range of charity shops to explore and uncover hidden gems. Gloucester Road is highly rated as another great student haunt for shopping, and is home to more independent stores than any other street in the UK! It is home to such beauties as Fox and Feather with its amazing jewellery and vintage clothing.
There is always something happening in Bristol and it is a city with a vibrant, modern edge, but also plenty of history and tradition. If you are looking for a heritage tour Bristol is a great place to live. It has a history in the tobacco, glass, and chocolate trades, and also has a shameful past as part of the Atlantic slave trade (which has been acknowledged and extensively written about and demonstrated in exhibitions in recent years).
You can see the history of the slave trade at the M Shed within the Bristol People Gallery. On the harbourside the SS Great Britain is a magnificent former passenger steamship that is well worth a visit, whilst the Clifton Suspension Bridge is a truly magnificent piece of architecture that you can just sit and watch for a while. Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed the bridge, which was opened in 1864, and it is a marvel. Other heritage sights worth visiting include Bristol Cathedral and Blaise Castle, and there are more than 100 Grade I listed buildings in the city.
The forward-thinking, modern city is out and proud in Bristol, with many creative spaces throughout the city, including Co-LAB in Broadmead. Spike Island is home to a gallery within a tea warehouse, as well as plenty of workshops for creatives of many different strands. Cinema is thriving as Bristol is a UNESCO City of Film, and there are countless screenings and festivals throughout the years. Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has as fine a range of collections as you’ll find anywhere in the country, whilst the Arnolfini gallery is home to contemporary art, music, dance, and performance.
One of the best ways to see Bristol is through a walking tour of the many striking street art projects in the city. World famous street artist Banksy (we still don’t know who Banksy is or if it is a collective of graffiti artists) hails from the city, and a walking tour around all of Banksy’s original artworks takes you all over the city.
Bristol is also a city that thrives in nature, with plenty of green spaces to relax and recharge the batteries, the Botanic Garden is home to over 4,500 species of plants, and the Floating Ballast Seed Garden a fantastic attraction. Nature reserves such as Chew Valley are not too far away and provide excellent hiking opportunities, whilst Hot Air Ballooning is a popular and fantastic way to see the city. There is an incredible hot air balloon festival each year where as many as 100 launch at one time.